Students give up their weekend to learn science and math
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
RALEIGH -- On what's supposed to be their day off of school, students mixed things up in the classroom as part of the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network Pre-College program. The flasks, chemicals and casual atmosphere are create an opportunity for under-served kids to get some extra academic support in crucial STEM subjects.
"We're targeting minority students, we're targeting girls, first-generation college students, we're targeting low income students," said Braska Williams, the coordinator of NC MSEN. "Those are groups of students who traditionally have not always received the assistance or help they really need."
Students like Megan O'Neill, an 11th grader, is using the Saturday Academy to make herself more marketable to colleges. "I'm not as well off as some other people are and so I have a harder time," she said. "Like, I have to get scholarships and all of these things, and so I feel like being involved in MSEN, it's just helping me have that extra step."
The help comes in ways that are more appealing to students than conventional methods, like building robots with Legos.
"Even though they're working with Legos, they're still solving things, and they take a lot of pride and actually discovering, 'yes, I can do it,'" said Corey White, an MSEN robotics teacher.
Saturday Academy classes are held 12 times throughout the academic year on N.C. State's campus in Raleigh. Teachers with the utmost enthusiasm and expertise are hand-picked for the sessions.
"Just looking at them and how they come in excited and energetic about helping us," said Ebony Watson, a 12th grader. "That really shows me how they really care about our future and how we advance in life.
It also shows these students that careers in science and math are possible. "People in it now, they're going to be retiring and things like that, so we have to step up," said O'Neill.